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Alec Gill

Title ︎︎︎ The Alec Gill Hessle Road photo archive               
This photobook celebrates the study of one road and its community in the port city of Kingston upon Hull. Located in the northeast of England, Hull,* as it is commonly known, sits at the heart of the UK’s historic fishing culture. Local historian and author Alec Gill set about documenting Hull’s Hessle Road fishing neighbourhood in the early 1970s with a Rolleicord twin-lens reflex camera. This project includes a small selection of Alec’s photography taken during a period of over 16 years.

Alec wasn’t working as a commercial photographer or approaching his photographic practice as a form of artistic expression. He was a budding academic who was deeply interested in people and would go on to study a degree in psychology. His travels abroad in between jobs had led him to realise that there was a fascinating and rich fishing culture on his doorstep. Taking photographs of his native Hull consequently became a way of connecting with and understanding people on a human level.

Up until the 1970s, Hull’s port and Hessle Road area was a bustling and unique part of the city. Gillett and MacMahon note the impact the fishing industry had on the neighbourhood, ‘With the isolation of their homes at one end of the town, and with the very special conditions under which those connected with the trade worked, for a whole century the fishing community was almost completely severed socially and geographically from the rest of Hull.’** This disconnection gave the place its very own character and culture.

- written by Iranzu Baker

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